Biden backs end to wolf protections but hunting worries grow

President Joe Biden’s administration is sticking by former President Donald Trump’s decision to lift protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S.

However, a top federal wildlife official on Friday told The Associated Press there is growing concern over aggressive hunting and trapping for the animals in the Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Director for Ecological Services Gary Frazer suggested the agency could intervene if wolf populations suffer declines that could again threaten them with extinction.

Idaho, Montana and Wisconsin have adopted rules intended to drive down the predator’s numbers. Earlier this month, Wisconsin set a 300-wolf limit for a fall hunt, which will be the state’s second of the year.

Meanwhile, Minnesota has not had a wolf hunt since 2014 and the DNR says it’s currently illegal to hunt wolves in the state.

Gray wolves in parts of the U.S. over the past several decades rebounded from widespread extermination in the 1900s.